Gulf Fishermen: Oil Tainted Our Waters, Our Trust

Deep sea creatures “congregating on the surface” like “all of the sea life is trying to get out of the water.”

Leigh Coleman — The Post Chronicle

Some U.S. Gulf Coast fishermen say they have caught crabs with black-stained gills and others report seeing fish and marine life gathering strangely on the sea surface following the massive BP Plc oil spill.

They fear these abnormalities could point to a lasting and potentially devastating impact on their fishing grounds and livelihoods from the world’s worst offshore oil accident, and they say BP and the government may be downplaying the issue.
State and federal authorities, who insist they are closely following safety protocols, have begun reopening selected segments of Gulf of Mexico waters to recreational and commercial fishing after the successful capping and cementing of BP’s blown-out deepwater Macondo well in recent weeks.
But fiercely independent Gulf fishermen, many of whom harbor a deep mistrust of authority since the much-criticized government response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, believe both President Barack Obama’s administration and BP may be moving too hastily to close this ecological and financial nightmare.
“The government is telling us the waters and seafood are safe, but I would not feed my family on anything I catch out there now,” said Jerry Miller, who has fished off Mississippi’s coast for 35 years.

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